Are you breathing a little easier since the April 15th tax deadline has come and gone? Hopefully, you had no troubles filing your tax return and finished it on time. Now you can focus on settling back into your “business as usual” routine. And, if you are among the many Americans who anticipate receiving a 2015 tax refund, you may be wondering when you can expect its arrival (unless you have already received yours).
According to a recent CNN Money article, nearly 8 out of 10 U.S. taxpayers receive tax refunds each year. The IRS has issued taxpayer refunds fairly quickly in the past, usually within 21 days.
The IRS used to publish charts with the dates they issued refunds, but they no longer do this because of changes in their auditing system. Now, the date you receive your refund depends primarily on how and when you file.
As well, some recent changes within the IRS resulting from budget cuts mean you may end up waiting up to a week or so longer than usual to receive your 2015 tax refund. This is especially going to be the case with returns filed on paper rather than electronically. The agency plans on issuing 9 out of 10 refunds within the usual 21 days, but some could take as long as 7 weeks.
With all these changes, you may have questions about the tax refund process and how you can check the status of your 2015 tax refund. The IRS.gov website is a great resource which should answer most of your questions.
Here are a few 2015 tax refund FAQs that come directly from the IRS site:
Q) What is the best and fastest way to get information about my refund?
Note: You can start checking on the status of your tax return within 24 hours after the IRS has received your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you have mailed your paper return.
Q) Will calling the IRS help me get my refund any faster?
No, calling the IRS does not speed up your refund.
The IRS’s phone and walk-in representatives can only research the status of your refund if it has been
- 21 days or more since you filed electronically,
- more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return, or
- if the Where’s My Refund? tool directs you to contact them.
Note: If the IRS needs more information to process your tax return, they will contact you by mail. Otherwise the Where’s My Refund? tool or the IRS2Go mobile app provides the most up-to-date information available about your 2015 tax refund. Both of these tools are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Q) How will I know if IRS received my tax return and if my refund is being processed?
Use the Where’s My Refund? tool to follow your tax return from receipt to issuance of your refund. While your tax return is being processed you can follow it through three stages:
- Return Received,
- Refund Approved, and
- Refund Sent
Q) How often does Where’s My Refund? update?
Where’s My Refund? updates are made no more than once per day, usually at night. So there is no need to check more often.
Q) What is happening when Where’s My Refund? shows the status of my refund is: “Return Received”?
This means the IRS has received your tax return and they are processing it. Your refund date will be available as soon as they finish processing your return and confirm that your refund has been approved. They issue most refunds in 21 days or less.
Q) How long will it take for my status to change from “Return Received” to “Refund Approved”?
Sometimes your status may change from “Return Received” to “Refund Approved” within a few days, but it may take longer. A date will not be provided until your refund has been approved. However, if Where’s My Refund? shows the status of your 2015 tax refund is: “Return Received,” then the IRS has received your tax return and they are processing it.
Q) What is happening when Where’s My Refund? shows the status of my refund is: “Refund Approved”?
This means the IRS has processed your return and they have approved your tax refund. The IRS is now in the process of preparing to send your refund, either to your bank or directly to you in the mail (if you requested a paper check). This status also tells you when your refund is scheduled to be sent to your bank and, if you elected the direct deposit option, the date by which it should be credited to your account.
Q) What is happening when Where’s My Refund? shows the status of my tax return is: “Refund Sent”?
This means the IRS has sent your refund to your financial institution for direct deposit. As well, this status tells you when the IRS sent your refund to your bank. Keep in mind that it may take your financial institution 1 – 5 days to deposit the funds into your account.
Note: If you requested a paper check this means your check has been mailed. It could, however, take several weeks for your check to arrive in the mail.
Hopefully, this information helps you and you receive your tax refund sooner rather than later. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office, either online or by phone at (503) 675-7000 if you have other questions or if we can help you through any of our business support services.